I am a student of Class 12. I have a problem in my study. Earlier when I used to get bad marks in exams it really affected me and gave me the will to study harder. But no matter how much time I put into studying I was still not improving which eventually turned me into a person who is hardly affected by marks and is not taking my studies seriously. While trying to improve myself in studies my whole life I never really indulged in other activities much, so I don’t have other talents. I want to change myself, but how?
You sound so very discouraged and have almost given up on yourself. But I am glad you said, ‘I want to change myself’. However, you don’t need to change yourself; instead you need to change how you learn.
By ‘studying hard’ I assume everyone means to cram for many hours to try to remember stuff. How about doing it differently? Study smart instead.
Effective study involves being able to actively recall what you have learned. So, a) Clarify all doubts and understand the topic, b) Transfer information from one form to another form which suits you, e.g., listen to a lecture and take notes or draw visuals/diagrams; Audio record key points and play it back later. Make studies fun: You can make a comic strip, study memes and more!, c) Actively recall by writing, reciting (you can do this even while dancing, tossing a ball, etc.), drawing, and most importantly doing a mock test — and what you don’t know, revise it again.
Also, study according to your brain’s needs: Study with focus for 25-minutes at a stretch, followed by a ‘reward break’ where you do something relaxing and creative. If you do this daily, then 2-3 hours a day is sufficient. Revise topics that you have already learned at regular intervals, instead of studying them just once. The rest of the time, develop a hobby/talent and also relax — it is equally important. Good luck!
Nasreen Hashambhoy is a Counsellor, Life Coach and a Facilitator of training programmes for schools and corporates. Through a combination of coaching, counselling and facilitation techniques based on cognitive science and positive psychology, she helps clients achieve their true potential. She is the author of the series Values In Action published by Better Yourself Books.